Absolute neutrophil count


Absolute neutrophil count

Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) is a measure of the number of neutrophil granulocytes (also known as polymorphonuclear cells, PMN's, polys, granulocytes, segmented neutrophils or segs) present in the blood. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that fights against infection.

The ANC is calculated from measurements of the total number of white blood cells (WBC), usually based on the combined percentage of mature neutrophils (sometimes called "segs," or segmented cells) and bands, which are immature neutrophils.

A normal ANC is above 1,500 cells per microliter. An ANC less than 500 cells/µL is defined as neutropenia and significantly increases the risk of infection. Neutropenia is the condition of a low ANC, and the most common condition where an ANC would be measured is in the setting of chemotherapy for cancer. Neutropenia increases the risk of infection.

ANC = (%neutrophils + %bands) imes WBC

The unit of ANC is cells per microlitre (cubic millimetre) of blood.

Source: NCI CTC Toxicity scale Version 2.0 [http://ctep.cancer.gov/forms/CTCv20_4-30-992.pdf]


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